by The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association
This will be the third time this year that Jeff and Janine Gesek, founders of Pacing for the Cure, will be taking their charity and mission to the industry of harness racing. The Meadowlands, Scioto Downs and now the Meadows Racetrack and Casino will be hosting the group. This duo travels to various locations in hopes to educate the public on multiple sclerosis and to raise funds that will be put towards the purchase of costly equipment for those affected by the disease.
Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating disease of the central nervous system and affects approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. Currently there is no cure for this disease and very few understand the cause and impact on MS survivors and their caregivers.
Pacing with the Cure’s feature weekend will begin with a MS walk on Friday (Aug. 26) at 5 p.m. Those participating will line up behind the starting gate, and then they’ll be off. Teams of ten will be competing for individual groups, stables, and organizations while individuals are encouraged to participate as well.
A reception to spread awareness and to benefit Pacing for the Cure will be taking place on Saturday (Aug. 27) at 1 p.m. on a day that is already special because of the early 11:25 a.m. post in honor of the Traverse Stakes. Silent and chinese auction ideas will be set out as well as a buffet-style luncheon.
Polly Blackhurst, the Meadows previous parade marshall and now starting gate driver, will be honored during the race card.
“As an MS survivor for many years, my advice to others is do not sit down, do not give up and keep moving,” said Blackhurst. She is an avid cyclist and racks up the miles when the weather is good.
Sign-up sheets are available on www.themsoa.com. Individual participation cost is $10 per person or $100 for a team of 10. T-shirts will also be available for those signing up before Aug. 10.